Inexpensive Zoom Lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by epracer71, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. epracer71

    epracer71 TalkEmount Rookie

    14
    Jan 16, 2014
    Hi everyone.

    I recently picked up a NEX-3n, and already added the Minolta 50mm F1.7 to accompany my 16-50mm kit lens. I love the Minolta 50mm, as does my girlfriend (she threatened to steal it and use on her old film camera). Now I would like to add something with some more range. Problem is, I am not currently in the position to drop $250 on the SEL55200. Are there any good adapted zoom lenses that will take me out to 200mm that would be more in the $50-$80 range? Also, as a novice photographer (I am using the NEX-3n to step up from point and shoot) should I be worried about the lack of image stabilization at longer zoom lengths? I bought a gorillapod, but I expect to do most of my shooting without a tripod. I plan on using this lens for landscape and wildlife. Also, I notice that most of the Minolta 70-200 zoom range are macro lenses. For what I intend to use it for, should I be looking for telephoto over macro, or will it really matter?

    Thanks in advance everyone.
     
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
  3. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    Keep in mind the Minolta 70-200 is unstabalised, long and physically pretty huge. Unless you are shooting from a tripod it's hard to get sharp shots with it.

    The sheer size and weight of it will overwhelm a gorillapod.

    I have the minolta 35-70 macro, and the "macro" is more "close up" but still fun.
     
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Some people get by with the Minolta 70-210mm 1:4, for me it's too large on the NEX-6 and also difficult to focus at the long end. Not being really happy with the Sony 55-210mm, I tend to favour the Minolta 50-135mm 1:3.5 which has a very useful range, is quite good and handles well. A good alternative may be the Minolta 75-150mm 1:4; it's very good as well, handles very nicely but 75mm at the short end is just a bit too long for me.
     
  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I agree with Ad on his first comment: the MD 70-210 f/4 is a big and heavy lens (thus unconvient IMO not only to handle it but especially for handheld photos).

    If you don't need AF, then I would recommend the variable aperture MD 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 lens (since you need 200mm of reach). Its quite light and small-ish. I have it and it can produce nice photos - hope this helps ;)

    And as Dave & jai correctly said, Macro is a wrongly used term for this lenses - more like close focus...
     
  6. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I also think that any manual focus lens at 200mm (300mm full frame equivalent) will be really hard to focus on a moving target (wildlife).

    If you went with Addieleman's suggestion of the 50-135 you will still have a 200mm full frame equivalent at the long end.
     
  7. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I carry Vivitar (kiron) 70-150/3.8 with me quite often. It is pretty common and cheap.
     
  8. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I have that one as well. Great range for outdoor activities.
     
  9. epracer71

    epracer71 TalkEmount Rookie

    14
    Jan 16, 2014
    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Based on all of this, I will start looking in the 135-150 range on the long side. that Minolta 50-135mm sounds like it would be a good bet, since I am pretty impressed with my other minolta. Will also check out the vivitar 70-150 option. Thanks again everyone
     
  10. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Aug 20, 2013
    A couple of things...

    You might want to look at getting a nice 135mm f/2.8 prime lens. You wont have a zoom option but with the crop factor you will still be at a 202mm with a nice fast aperture.

    And for Minolta (or any other old manual focus glass) check out KEH. Great prices, great return policy. I have used them many times. Dont be afraid to buy a bargain lens from them. There bargain lenses are usually still in very nice shape.

    http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-35...om-Lenses?s=1&bcode=MI&ccode=7&cc=3167&r=WG&f
     
  11. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    28-85 Minolta user here... Super duper extremely happy user. Love it. Like it
     
  12. epracer71

    epracer71 TalkEmount Rookie

    14
    Jan 16, 2014
    Thanks p/hoto, will keep an eye out on that site.
     
  13. suntoryjim

    suntoryjim TalkEmount Regular

    102
    May 17, 2013
    Thanks for the recommendation on the MD 70-210 f4-5.6! I picked-up a 9+ condition (with box) Vivitar version from B&H for $30. I've been looking for a cheap, compact, lightweight legacy zoom to complete the new travel kit I am putting together for the A7 I am planning to buy the beginning of Feb (bonus time).
     
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  14. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Hi,

    This morning I picked up a Tokina RMC 80-200 f4.0 in a minolta MD mount in great condition for $20 at a local thrift store. While it isn't as bright as my Vivitar Series1, it is smaller and lighter, and more suitable as a travel zoom. I haven't shot with it yet, so can't comment on performance...but just wanted to throw this option out there as an alternative.

    The 135 f2.8s that were mentioned in an earlier post are some of my favorite adapted lenses for my NEX.
     
  15. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I thought you didn't like that lens (which I recommended to you) and wanted to sell it a while back :? Or I could be wrong :D


    And I thought OP wanted 200mm of reach...
     
  16. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I almost forgot, I have a Tokina SD 70-210mm 1:4-5.6 which does quite well both on the NEX-6 and A7. Very sharp and punchy center, corner sharpness isn't great but that's mostly not that important on a telephoto zoom. It focusses to 1:5 reproduction ratio at 210mm. Light, small, handles well, plasticky affair, cheap. I "lost" a 52mm generic lens hood on it; screwed it on but can't get it off now without unscrewing part of the lens too :).
     
  17. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I don't have much problems using MD70-210/4 Macro handheld for portraits, now real tele work (far away objects) could prove more challenging. A big advantage of that lens is that it has very good contrast and thus peaks very well. I recently acquired a Phase 2 (el cheapo Pentax brand) 135/2.8 and while that lens is much, much smaller and lighter, it's also much harder to focus because of low contrast / low peaking. Contrast is easily added in post, but focus can't be fixed. Yes 70-210/4 is heavy, but with some practice it is actually easy to use.

    Another tele I like a lot is Kiron 80-200/4.5 Macro, lighter and shorter than Minolta, still with very good IQ.
     
  18. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    390
    Oct 17, 2012
    I use a Canon FD 70-210 F/4.0 Macro zoom and it's pretty good - I've had some great macro shots out of it but focusing / holding at the long end is tricky. My best solution for that is ramp up the ISO, use f/8 and hopefully get a fast enough shutter speed to get the shot sharp. I'd rather have a sharp shot with some noise than a blurred one with no noise.....I seem to remember someone somewhere referring to this as the 'digital tripod' or something.....
     
  19. epracer71

    epracer71 TalkEmount Rookie

    14
    Jan 16, 2014
    Ok I bought a 135mm MD1 rokkor-x f3.5 lense for $10.50 on ebay, and am going to take it out hopefully tomorrow for some shots. Want to try out the 135mm distance to see if it is what I am looking for at the long end of a zoom lens. Since I am new to this, though, I have never seen external (male) filter threads on a lens. I want to get a new cap for this lens, but I cant find any on amazon that are external threads. Also want to get a lens hood. Is this a common problem?
     
  20. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    As far as I know all Minolta MD 135/3.5 lenses (Rokkor or just plain MD) have sliding lens hoods, so I suspect you're looking at a lens where the lens hood has been removed.
     
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